Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Il prezzo della cultura part 2

and by the way my (w)horoscope for 2008 said it...: "Taurus, you are a very cultured and talented person, but you have to cultivate your gifts and focus on learning this year... read more books, go for a master degree, keep yourself updated on world news... do something for your education."

and Mr. Robert Brezny is always right!

so, since prices of university courses here in the UAE are nothing but HUMANGOUS, i've chosen to read more...

the second part of my 2008 (w)horoscope was: "Quando nel 2009 la diga delle Tre Gole, in Cina, funzionera' a pieno ritmo, la sua produzione idroelettrica costituira' una fonte di energia rinnovabile per buona parte della popolazione del paese. Andando a sostituire il carbone, eliminera' anche 100 milioni di tonnellate di gas serra. Questa e' la buona notizia. Quella cattiva e' che migliaia di villaggi e paesi saranno permanentemente inondati e oltre un migliaio di persone saranno costrette a lasciare le loro case. Penso che potresti trovarti davanti a una scelta simile nel 2008, Toro. Se sei disposto ad accettare l'esilio e la perdita delle tradizioni, guadagnerai l'accesso a incredibili riserve di magica energia."

("If you are willing to accept the exile and loss of traditions, you will gain the access to incredible stocks of magic energy.")

i guess i'm ready.

ready to lose my traditions.

ready to live on exile.

ready to sign this contract.

ready for this fucking visa.

Il prezzo della cultura

on saturday evening i've bought 2 books in Abu Dhabi Co-Op: an old novel by V.S.Naipaul (i've loved his books Beyond Beliefs and The Suffrage of Elvira!) and a kind of essay about how chance affected the results of many battles and wars (from the Horse of Troy to the Gulf War in 1991).

i need to read. actually i should read more: last week i've finished a very good novel, Absurdistan, but before that it was at least one month that i didn't read a real book.

all i've been reading lately were tips and samples on "how to build a successful marketing plan" and academic papers on the health sector in the UAE and on Al Ain city. "i have to admit" that it helped me a lot in my work, but i'm not that keen in sales&marketing.

i prefer literature... any suggestion about must-read books?

Facetta nera...

yesterday afternoon on the bus, coming back from Sharjah, where i went for an appointment, i've met Deniet.
she was sitting besides me and, when i woke up from my sleep, i've noticed that she was reading the Gospel in italian (and that she was kind enough to take care that, while sleeping, my head would not hit the sit in front of me when the driver braked...)
so, we started to talk and i found out that, beyond being a very pretty girl, she's eritrean from the capital city Asmara and that she can speak italian PERFECTLY 'cause she learnt it in the italian school in Asmara. she was an italian teacher before coming here and she's looking for a job now.
i would really like to help her, so i'll try to propose her as an italian teacher at CICER (Circolo Italiano Culturale E Ricreativo di Abu Dhabi), but i doubt that the italian mafia will give her a chance...
sometimes we still think that we had an "Empire" (???) before:
1884 – Eritrea: the first attempts to set an Italian Colonial Empire goes back to the 1884, when the Prime Minister Francesco Crispi tried to acquire a port on the Red Sea through an agreement with the United Kingdom to occupy the city of Massaua. Further to the Treaty of Uccialli, in 1890 Eritrea became an Italian colony with Asmara as its capital. Then it stayed like that until 1941, when it was occupied by the British troops together with the rest of the Italian Eastern Africa.
1889 – Somalia: the first Italian colony was established in Southern Somalia between 1889 and 1890, initially as a protectorate. In June 1925, the Italian influence was extended to former part of British Kenya and in 1940 the Italian troops occupied the British Somalia, known as Somaliland. But in 1941, British occupied the whole Italian Somalia and re-conquered Somaliland also.
1911 – Lybia: After a fast war against the Ottoman Empire, in 1911 Italy took control on the Lybian regions of Cyrenaica and Tripolitania, which have been then unified in 1934 under the name of Lybia (the old Roman name for the territory). During Fascism Age, Italy have been attempting to “pacify” the colony (against the rebels of Omar Mukhtar), during which gassing campaigns and mass deportations have been severely perpetrated against the original inhabitants. Italy lost control of Libya when German and Italian forces withdrew into Tunisia in 1943. Italians were against the Lybian invasion because they didn't want the government to spend their money to build roads and infrastructures in a land that they claimed was "uno scatolone di sabbia" (a box full of sand). Unfortunately they didn't notice that it was a box full of oil, so when Colonel Qaddafi took power in 1969 after the Green Revolution, he evenly kicked all the remaining Italian asses out of the Country and kept the royalties on petroleum and gas. On the Lybian campaign there is by the way a nice movie from 93 years old Italian director Mario Monicelli: Le Rose del Deserto (2006).
1912 – Dodecanese Island: the islands of Rhodes and the surrounding islands were a territorial gain Italy was able to make at the expense of the enfeebled Ottoman Empire with the Italo-Turkish War of 1911-1912. While the Treaty of Sèvres in 1919 called for most of the smaller islands to join with Greece, with Rhodes and several other islands remaining Italian, later, in 1923, the treaty of Lausanne gave international recognition to the continued Italian administration over the whole group. Two days after the Italian Government reached an armistice with the Allies on 8th September 1943, German forces attacked the Italians on Rhodes, forcing a surrender the next day. Despite the landing of British troops, the Germans seized Kos on October 4 after a day of fighting, and Leros fell to the Germans on November 16 after five days of fighting. You can find some details about this story in the movie Captain Corelli's Mandolin with Nicholas Cage and Penelope Cruz (if you are good enough to get rid of the buttery love story...). Otherwise i suggest Gabriele Salvatores' Mediterraneo (Oscar Winner as Best Foreign Language Film in 1992): w-o-n-d-e-r-f-u-l!
1936 - Ethiopia: in the 1890s the Italian Army, following a previous agreement with the Negus of Ethiopia Menelik, occupied a part of the Ethiopian Highland including the city of Asmara. Italy was defeated in its first attempt to conquer Ethiopia (called Abyssinia by Europeans at that time) in the First Italo-Ethiopian War in 1895-96, but the Italians were able to occupy Ethiopia in the war of 1935-36 after seven months of fighting. Victory was announced on 9th May 1936, when the Italian King Vittorio Emanuele III proclaimed himself “Emperor of Ethiopia” and Benito Mussolini “Founder of the Empire”. At the beginning of 1941 the English troops defeated Italians and occupied Ethiopia, but some flash points of Italian resistance remained active until the autumn of the same year and re-established the former Negus Haile Selassie.i've read an interesting article on the excellent Italian magazine Internazionale last year about the Italian heritage in Ethiopia and Eritrea: in Asmara, Massaua and Addis Abbeba is still plenty of old people speaking Italian and of places built during the Fascism Age with names in Amharic and Italian. I've remembered this article once when i was in Rock Bottom (a club in Abu Dhabi where i used to go) with my friends and the Ethiopian bouncer wanted us to leave even if our glasses were still full. i asked him where he was from and when he told me "Addis Abbeba", i said: "Ah, what a beautiful city!" "Have you been there?" i lied: "Yes, i've spent one week there..." "Really? Where were you staying?" "Oh, do you know that nice hotel near Cinema Impero? i can't remember the name..." "Oh yes, yes! I know it! Then if you were in Addis Abbeba, no need to leave now my friend!"... as you see, we are all brothers and sisters in the end...
1939 – Albania: Albania was already firmly within Italy's sphere of influence for twenty years when, in 1939, Mussolini decided it should formally be brought under Italian control. The Italian invasion of Albania began on 7th April 1939, but resistance to the Italian occupation grew rapidly at the end of 1942 and in 1943. By the summer of 1943, most of the mountainous interior was controlled by resistance fighters led by the Communist leader Enver Hoxha. By the end of September 1943, three weeks after Italy signed an armistice with the Allies, Germany took control over Albania.

Other territories submitted to Italian authority were Montenegro and Dalmatia (in the former Yugoslavia), Tiensin in China, and Nice and Corsica (French territories invaded by Italians during World War II).

But we don’t study these things at school ;-P